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Major General, Attorney to Address 2016 Saint Leo University Graduates at Commencement Ceremony

May 23, 2016

Shannon photoThe highest ranking African-American in the Georgia Air National Guard will give the commencement address for the Atlanta graduation ceremony of Saint Leo University. About 260 students from the Marietta, Gwinnett, and Morrow education centers of Saint Leo will graduate at noon, Saturday, May 28, at Cobb Energy & Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339.

Most students will receive their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, while about 45 will earn Master of Business Administration degrees and about 30 will earn Master of Science in criminal justice degrees. In addition, about 40 students will earn their Associate of Arts degrees.

Guest speaker Major General Robert L. Shannon Jr. holds two roles within the Air National Guard: special assistant to the director of the Air National Guard and assistant to the deputy chief of staff for Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (A2), Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. He was the first African-American to be promoted to brigadier general in the Georgia Air National Guard.

He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia; Master of Science degree in consumer studies from Oklahoma State University; Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Valdosta State University; and Associate of Arts in business and Associate of Applied Science in business administration from Rose State College.

Shannon is a senior partner with Hall, Booth, Smith, PC, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He serves as national trial counsel for a number of clients and holds licenses in Tennessee and Georgia.

The Class of 2016 farewell will be given by Amy Doherty, who is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice. Curtis Williams, Class of 2012, will lead the students in the traditional turning of the tassels and welcome them as alumni.

Saint Leo University has three education centers in the Atlanta area: The Marietta Education Center is at 1395 South Marietta Parkway, Building 300, Suite 104, Marietta, GA  30067; the Gwinnett Education Center is at 3555 Koger Blvd., Clarkston Building, Suite 105, Duluth, GA  30096; and the Morrow Education Center at 1590 Adamson Parkway, Suite 120, Morrow, GA  30260.

For more information about the Atlanta-area centers, go to

About Saint Leo University: Saint Leo University is a regionally accredited, liberal-arts-based institution known for an inclusive Catholic heritage, enduring values, and a capacity for innovation. The school was chartered in 1889 by Catholic Benedictine monks in rural Pasco County, FL, making Saint Leo the first Catholic college in the state. Saint Leo provides access to education to people of all faiths, emphasizing the Benedictine philosophy of balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit.


Saint Leo’s nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students may elect to study at the beautiful University Campus in Florida, at more than 40 teaching locations in seven states, or online from any location.


The university boasts nearly 80,000 alumni in all 50 states, Washington, DC, five U.S. territories, and 72 countries.


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